Publication: Stress testing water distribution networks for cyber physical attacks on water quality

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  • Upload-Date 8. November 2021

The interplay between cyber and physical elements of water systems and the corresponding security challenges are fast becoming a key topic for the water sector. Of special concern is the absence of simulation tools for deliberate contamination attacks on water distribution networks (WDNs), in conjunction with cyberattacks on the contamination warning system. RISKNOUGHT is a cyber-physical stress-testing platform that simulates WDNs as integrated cyber-physical systems and models complex cyber-physical attacks. Supported tasks include modelling of contamination incidents and complex control logic schemes acting as mitigation measures against contamination (e.g. DMA isolation and flushing). RISKNOUGHT simulates composite scenarios of cyber-physical attacks on various elements of the SCADA and the physical network and assesses the impact on the network and consumers through several metrics. Testing the platform on a benchmark network demonstrates its capabilities and provides insights for water utilities regarding cyber-physical attacks that include contamination events.